The Highest Proof of Our Depravity

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

(M)any of us as sinners have been persons who for a long time have heard this good news, and yet have despised it. Perhaps there is nothing more wonderful in the depravity of man than that it is able to forget the love of Christ. If we were not so sinful as we are, there is not one of us here this morning who would not weep at the thought of the Saviour’s love, and I believe there is not a solitary man, woman, or child here, who would not say, “I love thee, O my God! because thou hast done so much for me.” It is the highest proof of our depravity that we do not at once love the Christ who died for us. There is a story told of the convenanters-of one named Patrick Welwood-whose house was surrounded at a time when a minister had for security been hidden there. Claverhouse’s dragoons were at the door, and the minister had fled. The master of the house was summoned, and it was demanded of him, “Where is the minister?” “He is gone; I cannot tell whither, for I know not.” But they were not satisfied with that; they tortured him, and since he could not tell them where he was (for in reality he did not know), they left him, after inflicting upon him the torture of the thumbscrew; and they took his sister, a young girl who was living in the house. I believe she did know where the minister was concealed; but on taking her they asked her, and she said, “No, I can die myself, but I can never betray God’s servant, and never will, as He may help me.” They dragged her to the water’s edge, and making her kneel down, they determined to put her to death. But the captain said, “Not yet; we will try to frighten her”; and sending a soldier to her, he knelt down, and applying a pistol to her ear, she was bidden to betray the minister or die. The click of the pistol was heard in her ear, but the pistol was not loaded. She slightly shivered, and the question was again asked of her. “Tell us now,” said they, “where he is, or we will have your life.” “Never, never,” said she. A second time the endeavour was made; this time a couple of carabines were discharged, but into the air, in order to terrify her. At last they resolved upon really putting her to death, when Trail, the minister, who was hidden somewhere near, being aroused by the discharge of guns, and seeing the poor girl about to die for him, sprang forward, and cried, “Spare that maiden’s blood, and take mine; this poor innocent girl, what hath she done?” The poor girl was dead even there with the fright, but the minister had come prepared to die himself, to save her life. Oh, my friends, I have sometimes thought that her heroic martyrdom was somewhat like the blessed Jesus. He comes to us, and says, “Poor sinner, wilt thou be my friend?” We answer, “No,” He comes to us, and says, “Ah, I will make thee so,” saith He, “I will die for thee”; and He goes to die on the cross. Oh! methinks I could spring forward and say, “Nay, Lord Jesus, nay, Thou must not die for such a worm.” Surely such a sacrifice is a price too large to pay for poor sinful worms! And yet, my hearers, to return again to what I have uttered before, you will hear all this, and nine out of ten will retire from this place, and say, “It was an old, old story”; and while ye can drop a tear for aught else, ye will not weep one tear for Jesus, nor sigh one sigh for Him, nor will ye afford Him even a faint emotion of love. Would it were different! Would to God He would change your hearts, that so ye might be brought to love Him.~ C.H. Spurgeon


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